The magic of technology has made it possible for distant relatives to talk to each other “face to face” over smartphones and colleagues to work on projects together through videoconferencing. Web cams have also allowed anyone with an internet connection to visit everything from watering holes in Kenya to bee colonies in Germany. If you need a break from the daily grind, get your wildlife fix by visiting one of our favorite live cams:
1. Blacktip Reef Shark Cam – National Aquarium Baltimore
Aquarium therapy. Yep, it’s an actual thing. Science confirms that watching fish swim lazy circles can lower a person’s stress levels. Take a chill pill by vising the National Aquarium’s new Blacktip Reef Cam. Go full screen and zone out on colorful angelfish, sea turtles, sharks and more.
2. Katmi National Park Brown Bear Cam – National Park Service
Every year over a hundred Brown Bears descend on a mile long stretch of Brooks River in Alaska to feast on the largest Sockeye Salmon run in the world. Appreciate the patience of lumbering and agile Ursus Arctos as they wait for the perfect moment to snatch their next meal from the churning river.
3. Honey Bees Landing Cam
“Busy as a bee” takes on new meaning in this up-close view of a hive’s tireless workers. These bees in Germany zip assuredly in and out of the hive collecting pollen for the colony’s young, and inadvertently pollinating the many plants that humans rely on for food.
4. Sea Otter Cam – Seattle Aquarium
The Seattle Aquarium is home to a number of sea otters and northern fur seals. Sea otters are the only mammals other than primates, birds and a few other animals known to use tools. They use small rocks or other objects to pry shellfish from rocks and to hammer them open. Watch them dip and whirl through the water like acrobats in this overhead cam.
Located in one of the country’s most famous National Parks, this cam takes you to the tallest waterfall in North America with a total drop of 2,425 feet. The waterfall is at its strongest in the Spring. Also check out the Yellowstone National Park “Old Faithful” cam.
6. Chimpanzee Yard Cam– Houston Zoo
There are ten chimpanzees at the Houston Zoo: Charlie, Lucy, Abe, Lulu, Riley, Sally, Annie, Maizey, Mac, and Willie. This cam shows the yard where the chimps hang out and play. The Houston Zoo is a proud supporter of EarthShare member the Jane Goodall Institute to help save this endangered ape from extinction.
7. Monterey Bay Web Cam – Monterey Bay Aquarium
Monterey Bay is part of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, a federally protected marine area offshore of California's central coast. Watch the waves come in off this safe haven that’s home to a variety of fishes, plants, marine mammals and birds.
8. Polar Bear Twins - Scandinavian Wildlife Park, Denmark
These polar bear cubs were born in November, 2012. Watch as mom Ilka nurses and nurtures her curious cubs, then learn more about this iconic carnivore of the Arctic from Defenders of Wildlife.
9. African Penguins - Audubon Aquarium of the Americas and Animal Planet
Unlike their Antarctic cousins, the Rockhopper and African Penguins in this cam are both temperate climate birds who prefer warmer water temperature. These penguins cannot easily preen their own heads and necks so they can often be seen allopreening (preening each other).
10. Great Blue Heron Nest Cam – Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Great Blue Herons nest mainly in trees, but will also nest on the ground, on bushes, in mangroves, and on structures such as duck blinds, channel markers, or artificial nest platforms. Males arrive at the colony and settle on nest sites; from there, they court passing females. Colonies can consist of 500 or more individual nests, with multiple nests per tree built 100 or more feet off the ground. See more nest cams from the Cornell Lab at http://cams.allaboutbirds.org/.